You'd think the Queen was coming with the frantic shop clean up that took place last month. But we didn't say the British are coming and we understand Her Majesty had other commitments last month. No, the effort was put forth for the Germans. We wrote months ago how pleased we were that VW was putting resources into a division called Classic VW for the purpose of supporting models from the past - a very positive development for both owners of Vanagons and the businesses that provide for them. We rejoiced in the ability to purchase previously thought obsolete parts such as factory fiberglass bumpers, power steering lines, mud flaps, fan resisters, and more.... along with the prospect that there will be other parts in the future coming back from the dead.
To show the depth of their commitment to this program, representatives from Classic VW have come to the US to visit shops to both elaborate on the direction they are going and to let us know about products they have in the works. In a two-way conversation, the reps were very receptive to our requests and observations regarding important parts that we feel they should consider working on. We are humbled and honored that we are on their radar and that we were included as one of their stops. We do realize they are visiting other important vendors while they are here and we applaud their business sense and this strategy as we are all in this together and it again bodes well for both the health of our Vanagon-centric businesses and our ability to provide the parts you need.
I do have to share that the visit was very rewarding personally. From years ago purchasing my first VW bus and learning how to maintain it, using those skills to put myself through college, and then starting the shop, a visit by representatives of VW of Germany was kind of like the Queen visiting. Now, I'm still not sure I'm ready to forgive these guys for their legal department coming after us for our original name, Volks Cafe, but this did go a long way toward evening the score :)